Following its official recognition by the Scottish Government last month, East Lothian Community Rail Partnership started its work with a widespread consultation on how local people use the trains.
More than 130 responses have been received so far, but they are still keen to hear from anyone who has an interest in making our local stations more accessible and welcoming and increasing the number of visitors to the area who come by train.
The consultation is open until 31 August and can be found at www.eastlothianconsultations.co.uk/infrastructure/east-lothian-community-rail-survey or people can pick up a form at their local library.
The results will be published at a public event at the end of October when the Community Rail Partnership will be looking to make contacts with local businesses and partner organisations to help promote local rail travel. They are hoping that tourist attractions might consider promoting train offers alongside their ticket sales, and be involved in the production of an ‘East Lothian Days Out by Rail’ booklet. For more information contact Annette Filby on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ourlocality.org/eastlothiancrp.
Councillor Michael Veitch, Transport spokesman for East Lothian Council, commented: “The East Lothian Community Rail Partnership will encourage both locals and tourists alike to utilise the public service links available to them.”
Sheila Sinclair from North Berwick Community Council said: “Although it is early days, I have high hopes that the Community Rail Partnership might be the catalyst we need to see further improvements at North Berwick Station. I look forward to working with them to improve the range of information and facilities provided at the station, and better links with the local bus services.” Ken Reid, chairman of the East Lothian Access Panel, added: “For many disabled people, public transport is the only option. It should not be transport of the last resort. We are pleased to support East Lothian Community Rail Partnership in the development of a rail network for East Lothian that is a pleasure to use, that integrates with other forms of public transport, and is fully accessible to people with any kind of disability.”